Their Vacant Eyes Will Seek in Vain

The mercenary commander Jaffier [Jeff Beihl] looks down on Venice from the Bell Tower, debating its fate, which he holds in his hands … “Am I permitted to be as insensitive as the sun … I who can see the city that must perish?”

The tone shifts in the room – from exposition and gentle mockery we’ve now settled into a genuine mood of contemplation.  The last words hang in the air … and we shift into another theatrical gear altogether.  Lights come down.  Three actors enter the white playing area, and begin the first full scene … a Venetian Courtesan and two mercenaries.

DL: So … is this scene political?

Woman 1: It’s pitiful. The way you’ve described Simone Weil and her work is all about pity.

CW: I don’t feel sorry for Weil.  She’s got contradictions, but –

W1: How can you step in boiling oil by accident?!

DL: Okay, let’s table that – back to the scene for the moment …

Women 2: I don’t think it’s political – it’s a personal point of view, a story of personal experience.

DL: But doesn’t that come out of a political situation?

W2: I don’t see it – it’s all about her.

DL: Okay, let’s compare it with something else …

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